Obama to pressure Putin to give up Snowden; White House says he's "not a dissident"

White House spokesperson Jay Carney.

"Mr. Snowden is not a human rights activist or dissident," White House spokesman Jay Carney said today, adding that "providing a propaganda platform" for the National Security Agency leaker was "counter to the Russian government's previous declarations of Russia’s neutrality."

Previously, the US Ambassador to Russia is reported to have said the administration believes he's no whistleblower, either.

Snowden invited human rights groups to a meeting in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport earlier today to announce his plans to seek asylum in Russia. A Wikileaks representative was at his side.

The United States has revoked Snowden's passport, and charged him with felony crimes including espionage for leaking secret documents about US surveillance programs.

In a previously-scheduled call, US President Barack Obama will speak with Russian leader Vladimir Putin later today. Snowden's plea for Russian asylum will be on the agenda, and Obama is expected to personally ask Putin to hand Snowden to the US. But Carney added, "I don't think that's the only topic that will be discussed."

Oh, to be a spy on the wall. The phone conversation between the two leaders will be the first since Snowden showed up in Russia in June.

Previously on Boing Boing:

Edward Snowden meets human rights groups at Moscow airport, seeks asylum in Russia en route to Latin America
Edward Snowden's statement on seeking asylum in Russia, as published by Wikileaks